I could see there was no hope of a decent restoration, nor even a proper repair, but it was such a nice old thing, I thought it would be worth trying to at least make a functional toolbox out of it.
I established a couple of guidelines to keep me from wasting too much time and effort: I had to complete the project with whatever materials I had on hand at the moment, and I had to complete the project in the hour and a half remaining before dinner. Aside from the time it took for the hasty spray can paint job to dry, mission accomplished.
It’s a case of measuring success not by the fit and finish of the final result, but rather by the overall return on the total sum invested in the project. I’m quite pleased with the return in this case: I have the use of a charming old toolbox, I saved said box from the landfill, and I get an ongoing dividend in the form of a small positive feeling every time I notice the box.
Since these photos were taken, I’ve re-assigned the tool toolbox to stand at the shaper and hold cutters, bits, routers and related items.